I love Jason Heyward.
Four games before the playoffs start, and Heyward had one of his best nights in a Braves uniform. It all started on the first pitch as he sent a Tyler Cloyd pitch deep into the right-center seats. The Braves would take their cue from there. Elliot Johnson lined a single and stole a base before Freddie Freeman banged one off the left-center field wall. Gattis followed by golfing a single to center. It took Brian McCann to strike out to get an out in the inning. Chris Johnson doubled and Andrelton Simmons added a single before the inning would end with a 5-0 Braves lead.
The Phillies added a run in the next half inning, but Gattis doubled home two in the bottom half to push the lead out to 7-1. The Braves wouldn't add any runs after that, but Heyward continued his spectacular night. He added three doubles and an infield single as he looked locked in the entire night. If nothing else, it has to help Heyward mentally to know he can bring it for the postseason. It sure was fun to watch.
David Hale looked good again in his second professional start. It was against a second-string-at-best lineup, but 6 innings of 5 Ks and 0 BBs is nothing to sneeze at. His long-term role is probably in the 'pen, but the last two starts have given us an indication of why the Braves have kept him in the rotation despite the common feeling that he needed to be in the 'pen. There's definitely something there. And hey, congrats on his first MLB victory. Whatever you think of wins, it's still cool to be a part of a big-league victory.
One other thing and I'll avoid going nuts on this like I did earlier on Twitter, but what Joe and Chip did on the broadcast on advanced stats was pretty terrible. In the grand scheme of things, I don't really care if you or anyone else subscribes to a certain stat or set of stats. That's not the point. But for a team of broadcasters whose job it is to know and analyze baseball, it's sad that the two had no idea about a major point of discussion in the current baseball community. Like no idea at all. Feel free to disagree with newer stats, but the nonsense they spread to their audience was completely ridiculous. It's their job to discuss baseball and these topics, and they disseminated a lot of bad information tonight (and really most of the season). You can't plead ignorance when it's your job to spread baseball and baseball knowledge to the public. If anyone has real questions about defensive stats, clutch, or anything else, I and the rest of Talking Chop are completely willing to discuss it and point you toward research done on various subjects. Again, feel free to disagree, but please, please know what you are disagreeing with. No point in just disagreeing to disagree.
Win Expectancy Chart